Teacher’s unions earn ‘F’ for Wisconsin recall abuse – Michelle Malkin:

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Teacher’s unions earn ‘F’ for Wisconsin recall abuse. – Michelle Malkin

They really outdid themselves. In Wisconsin and across the nation, public school employee unions spared no kiddie human shields in their battle against GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s budget and pension reforms. Students were the first and last casualties of the ruthless Big Labor war against fiscal discipline.

To kick off the yearlong protest festivities, the Wisconsin Education Association Council led a massive “sickout” of educators and other government school personnel. The coordinated truancy action — tantamount to an illegal strike — cost taxpayers an estimated $6 million. Left-wing doctors assisted the campaign by supplying fake medical excuse notes to teachers who ditched their public school classrooms to protest Walker’s modest package of belt-tightening measures.

When they weren’t ditching their students, radical teachers steeped in the social justice ethos of National Education Association-approved community organizer Saul Alinsky were shamelessly using other people’s children as their own political junior lobbyists and pawns. A Milwaukee Fox News affiliate caught one fourth-grade teacher dragging his students on a “field trip” to demonstrate against Walker at the state Capitol building.

The pupils clapped along with a group of “solidarity singers” as they warbled: “Scott Walker will never push us out, this house was made for you and me.”
Hundreds of high school students from Madison were dragooned into marches. When asked on camera why they had skipped school, one told a reporter from the Wisconsin-based MacIver Institute: “I don’t know. I guess we’re protesting today.” Happy for the supply of warm young bodies, AFSCME Local 2412 President Gary Mitchell gloated: “The students have been so energized.”

“Energized”? How about educated, enlightened and intellectually stimulated? Silly parents. Remember: “A” isn’t for academics. It’s for “agitation” and “advocacy.” Former National Education Association official John Lloyd’s words must not be forgotten: “You cannot possibly understand NEA without understanding Saul Alinsky. If you want to understand NEA, go to the library and get ‘Rules for Radicals.’”

Against a rising tide of rank-and-file teachers who oppose their leaders’ extremist politics, the national offices of the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers shoveled millions in forced union dues into astroturfed, anti-Walker coffers. According the WisconsinReporter.com, strapped state affiliates also coughed up major sums to beat back Wisconsin’s efforts to bring American union workers into the 21st century in line with the rest of the workforce:
“The Ohio Education Association made a $58,000 in-kind contribution May 30, followed a day later by a $21,000 contribution from the Pennsylvania State Education Association. New York State United Teachers gave $23,000 on June 1, the Massachusetts Education Association gave $17,000 on May 31, and a group of unions based in Washington, D.C., poured in $922,000 during the past week.” Even the Alaska NEA affiliate pitched in $4,000.

Back in the Badger State, the Education Action Group Foundation caught Milwaukee teacher’s union head Bob Peterson on tape this week bragging about how his school district organized bus runs and stuffed flyers into every K-8 student’s backpack urging them to vote in the recall election. No, this wasn’t a civic, nonpartisan get-out-the-vote effort. It was a purely partisan self-preservation campaign. Peterson preaches that educators must be “teachers of unionism. We need to create a generation of students who support teachers and the movement for workers rights, oppressed peoples’ rights.” Because, you know, asking teachers to contribute more to their pension plans is just like the crushing of freedom fighters in Iran, Egypt and China.

The progressives’ blatant exploitation of bureaucratic authority over the nation’s schoolchildren — at the expense of classroom achievement and fiscal sanity — isn’t sitting well with the public. A new Marquette University Law School poll released on the eve of the Wisconsin recall election showed that “only 40 percent of those surveyed said they had a favorable view of public-sector unions, while 45 percent viewed them unfavorably.” In addition, “three-quarters of respondents said they approved of the law Walker signed requiring public employees to contribute to their own pensions and pay more for health insurance, while 55 percent approved of the new limits on collective bargaining for state employees that Walker signed into law.”

Uncertainty reigned over Wisconsin as both sides braced for a possible recount on Tuesday night. But from their first unhinged salvos 16 months ago in the state Capitol and right up until Election Day, the union bosses have made one thing clear as a playground whistle: It’s not about the children. It’s never about the children. It’s about protecting the power, perks and profligacy of public employee union monopolies.


Friend Of The Bride – Tea Party Nation

Wisconsin Education Association Council logo

Image via Wikipedia

Friend Of The Bride – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Tim Nerenz

With one bold stroke, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker turned a decade of budget deficits into a projected surplus without raising taxes; all it took was to bust the public unions.

Most people run away from the term “union-busting” but the Wisconsin experience should make it clearer than ever that union-busting is a good thing. Union-busting is good thing because compulsory unionization is vile. Take a pill, my dear union friends; I said compulsory unionism is vile.

It is vile because it denies a fundamental right – the right to work. We own ourselves and our labor; and we are free to set the terms of its exchange or we are not free. Forcing someone to join a union as a condition of employment is a denial of his/her self-ownership; it is as simple as that.

Key word: force. Unionists can talk in grand platitudes about worker rights, but when force is your first principle, the words used to justify it merely calibrate the depth of the lie. The rapist can quote the poet, but that does not make it an act of love.

As it turns out, public unions were THE fiscal problem in Wisconsin. The proof is in the thousands of municipalities and school districts throughout the state which have turned staggering deficits into surpluses within days, once the Governor’s Budget Repair Bill was liberated from the clutches of liberal courts which held it hostage for months. Now we know what they were so afraid of – it was this easy all along.

In city after city, and school district after school district, layoffs of public employees are being avoided, classroom sizes are being reduced, merit pay for good teachers is being funded, benefit plans are being improved at lower costs, and taxpayers are saving money. The winner in the “war on the middle class” is the middle class.

Teachers’ jobs have been saved, despite their own unions best efforts to eliminate them. Except in the city of Milwaukee, where the unions and their rubber-stamp school board rushed to extend union contracts ahead of Walker’s collective bargaining reforms. Hundreds of teachers lost their jobs, vital services have been cut, and class sizes will increase. Nice going, WEAC.

Milwaukee has been punched in the gut with the solidarity fist; or perhaps kicked slightly lower would be a more apt description. Milwaukee parents and teachers can thank the public unions, the Democrats, Dane County judge Sumi, and Secretary of State La Follette for making the sorry state of their schools even sorrier.

Even with the political cover of “Walker made me”, the unionist bullies could not bring themselves to do the right thing. When push came to shove, they couldn’t stop pushing and shoving inner-city kids. That’s what they do; it’s who they are. MPS was the libertarians’ best argument for school choice, and the argument got stronger.

Surprise, surprise – the world did not end with passage of budget reforms in Wisconsin; things got instantly better. This has come as a shock to liberals and unionists who have spent their lifetimes insulated from economic reality and marinating in their own propaganda. It should not have surprised anyone; instantly better is what happens when blight is removed.

If Governor Walker and the Republicans are serious about creating jobs in this state, they need to take the next step and pass Right to Work legislation now. Put the “free” back in free enterprise and then step out of the way; that’s how you stimulate the economy.

Compulsory unionization destroys initiative, stifles innovation, increases costs, protects inefficiency and sloth, and its parasitic nature ultimately kills its host. The same union toxicity that cripples the effectiveness of government and education is even more deadly in the private sector, where firms compete to survive.

Wisconsin is littered with the carcasses of once-thriving businesses whose unions killed them. But it is also filled with private, non-union firms who compete around the world and against the world every day. We do not thrive in spite of our non-union status; we thrive because of it.

President Obama is doing everything in his power to stack the regulatory and legal deck in favor of the unions which fund his Democrat Party. Through executive order and NLRB actions, he seeks to impose by force what 93% of private sector workers have voluntarily rejected – union representation.

Given his administration’s track record on economic matters, the President’s unionist agenda should be opposed simply because he has proposed it. You do not need a Ph.D. in economics to know the path to American prosperity; you only need to learn the elements of President Obama’s plan and choose their opposites. Wisconsin cannot wait for a national Right To Work law; we must act now.

Right To Work laws do not prohibit or even inhibit union representation; in fact, RTW preserves the right of every worker to join a union and collectively bargain. But Right To Work also preserves the equal right of every worker to represent themselves; it preserves the basic right of self-ownership. And there are no “kinda” rights; rights are digital, not analog.

Unions which add value in the workplace will have no problem in an environment of choice. Workers will gladly choose to join a union that benefits them, and employers will eagerly accept a union that improves the quality, safety, and morale of its workforce. Like everything else, choice and competition in labor representation improves quality and reduces cost.

Compulsory unionism is like forced marriage; the groom has a million reasons why it is good for the bride. Right To Work gives her choices and respect. Be a friend of the bride.

“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment.